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An accidental slip reveals that a happily married couple were intimate before marriage.
In New York City, Chris Walters comes home from work early to surprise his wife Alice on their thirteenth wedding anniversary. Alice is taken aback, then pleased when Chris presents her with a diamond broach, but the couple's efforts to share their affection is interrupted by a phone call from Alice's mother, the arrival of the Walters' children, Okkie and Debbie, and inquiries from the maid, Millie. Chris is further frustrated when delivery men arrive baring a television set, a gift from Alice's parents, Lilly and Arthur Gans. Believing that the inane quality of television programming destroys family life, Chris adamantly refuses to accept the set, despite the children's and Alice's pleas. Later, when Alice frets about Chris's explosive temper, he apologizes and agrees to keep the set, then suggests they need to get away for time alone together. Recalling their courtship days, Chris and Alice decide to sneak out of the apartment and dine at their favorite diner, then go to the hotel they used to visit. Later that evening, as the Walters arrive back to the apartment, Okkie notes their return wryly. That night at the El Morocco club, Chris's partner Bud dines with potential client Jeanette Revere, who, being a four time divorcee, is amazed to hear of Alice and Chris's anniversary. Late the next afternoon, Arthur and Lilly arrive early for the celebratory anniversary dinner party. Upon seeing the television set, Arthur chastises Chris for holding out against one for so long. That evening as the families dine together at the party, Lilly frets over Arthur drinking and Chris grouses at the children for having the television on loudly. Arthur continues to wonder how Chris can hate television and Chris admits that he and his father-in-law have had a long history of disagreements. When Chris wonders why Arthur allowed Alice to date him, Arthur declares he always trusted Alice to do the right thing. Slightly drunk, Chris then offers a toast to the year before the couple were married, declaring they had none of marriage's responsibilities and all of the fun. Startled, the Ganses demand an explanation and despite Alice's efforts to interrupt, Chris gaily admits that he and Alice carried on romantically the entire year before their marriage. Incensed at having been made fools for believing in Alice's pre-marital innocence, the Ganses depart in an angry huff. Alice berates Chris and refuses to accept his half-hearted apology. When Alice turns on the television in an attempt to ignore her husband, he furiously kicks in the screen. The next morning over breakfast, Chris tells Millie that he was forced to sleep on the sofa all night and bemoans the difference that marriage and children make to a relationship. Bud arrives to excitedly reveal that Jeanette has agreed to sign with their firm, but Chris is uninterested in work. Bud is startled to see the wrecked television and mistaking Chris's moodiness for a hangover, cheerfully declares he will handle the new account. Chris then pleads for forgiveness from Alice, vowing to personally apologize to Arthur and Lilly. Alice accepts Chris's invitation to lunch at Rockefeller Center, but once there, wonders aloud if their marriage is in serious trouble. Chris admits that his volatile temper is largely responsible for their disagreements and promises to mend his ways. Upon arriving home later, the Walters are surprised to find a new television set with a note to Alice from Bud offering the set as a gift. Chris reacts angrily, but recalling his new promise, struggles to squelch his anger. Alice telephones her parents and Chris apologizes and invites the Gans to dinner. While waiting for Arthur and Lilly to arrive that evening, Chris plays chess with Okkie and wonders vaguely about Debbie's whereabouts. Alice then turns on the new set and after several grating advertisements, the show "Kids Council" comes on and the family is shocked to see Debbie petitioning a council of school children for assistance. To their horror, Debbie explains that her parents' constant bickering has steadily increased and she fears they may be considering divorce. While Alice and Chris frantically attempt to telephone the station to stop the show, the council members request more information on the arguments. When Debbie blithely declares that their latest angry row occurred over pre-marital relations, the show abruptly cuts off. Apoplectic, Chris kicks in the television screen. As Alice and Chris burst into a furious argument at who is responsible for Debbie's breech, Bud and Jeanette arrive to celebrate her signing with their firm. Moments later, Arthur and Lilly arrive, adding to the chaos. Bud and Arthur are stunned about the ruined television, which only further antagonizes Chris. Just then, Debbie arrives home, delightedly waving a hundred dollar bond given her by the television show's company. Chris demands to punish Debbie, but fearful, Alice intervenes, supported by Arthur and Lilly. Outraged, Chris stalks out of the apartment. Over the next two days, Bud attempts to convince the angry Chris to return home, as Alice struggles to make explanations to Debbie and Okkie. Late one afternoon, Lilly shows up at the Walters' apartment with a suitcase, tearfully admitting she has left Arthur after subjugating herself to his ways for thirty-five years. Moments later, Arthur arrives, denying that he has driven his wife away. Bud then appears to relate that Chris is anxious to return and is, in fact, waiting outside to come in. Okkie and Debbie greet Chris effusively while Alice angrily declares that no one has taken her feelings into consideration. To Chris's consternation, Alice begins packing to leave when the couple is interrupted by a phone call. Equally dismayed and delighted, Alice reveals that her doctor has just told her that she is pregnant. Uncertain what to do, Alice's doubts dissolve when a new television set, a gift from Chris, arrives.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 10 Nov 1959|
|Release Date:||1959||Production Date:||
EBX; AFI; AFI-DVD
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||United Artists Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Fields Productions, Inc.|
|Duration(mins):||81 or 83||Country:||United States|
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